It wasn’t her first visit to the Anniston Kiwanis Club Pancake Day. Winston, 20, had patronized the annual event since her freshman year of high school, when she would work behind the scenes with her school’s Key Club.
This year, her two younger sisters, Elayne and Dorothy Nicole, were the ones doing all the work.
All that was required of Winston this year was to eat.
“They served me,” she said.
Under threat of snowflakes, hundreds of families came to the City Meeting Center for the 26th year of the fundraiser. The first few hours were a bit slow, said Anniston Kiwanis president Alyson Mims, likely due to the weather forecast, but she said by around 8 a.m. tables began quickly filling up.
“It’s been great. Very hectic but good,” Mims said.
Mims said that by 10:30 a.m. the club had raised over $40,000. Last year, the club raised $52,000 and served over 3,200 breakfasts.
Proceeds from Pancake Day go to local agencies that help children and to the club’s back to school shopping trip, which buys school supplies for area children in need.
Mike Rollins, director at Coosa Valley Youth Services in Anniston, stood underneath a tent behind the meeting center, spatula in hand. This year marked his 18th behind the grill, watching over several pancakes at once.
“I don’t have as many flips in me as I used to,” Rollins joked.
Rollins was joined at the grill by fellow pancake-flipper and business manager at the Anniston Museum of Natural History, Gina Cooper.
“We used to be the early crew,” Cooper said, but they’ve since graduated to a loftier position. They both were allowed to sleep in, showing up for their 6:30 a.m. shift. The first shift began two hours earlier.
A few feet from the grill, Jacksonville State University Circle K member Steven Boyd stood beside a large, commercial mixer feeding it with water and batter mix.
He’d mixed more than 300 batches of pancake batter by 10:30 a.m., conceding the work isn’t easy, but it’s for a good cause.
“I like to be involved in the community, and I like to help people,” Boyd said.
Out in the dining area, Anniston Kiwanis secretary Dan Pitts described a good way to measure how the club’s biggest fundraiser was shaping up this year.
“We’re all tired, so that means it’s going to be great,” Pitts said.
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.